Huffer Pushes Group Claims

Progressive Pins mare Huffer upset one Group One prospect to further her own top-flight ambitions at Ellerslie this afternoon. The five-year-old showed she was on target for a crack at the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham next month when she downed the hot favourite Future King in a competitive Rating 85 sprint.

She beat the runner-up, whose connections were also desperate for a victory to boost their chances of a Telegraph start, fair and square and Wellington will be the next party venue for the mare’s battalion of owners. “We’ll be looking at the Telegraph,” Matamata trainer Graham Richardson said. “This will bring her rating up and she’s going to be a lightweight chance.”

Huffer won her first four races as Sequin for her breeders WS and this term the Matamata farm has embraced the Social Racing promotion by racing her with the Huffer Racing Club, whose free membership has attracted a fan club of more than 900. “It’s a great feeling, a great result and great for racing,” Richardson said. “Everybody’s very, very happy.”

He had a slight worry about the going at Ellerslie but was confident Huffer (NZ) would parade at her best after two preparatory outings. “She deserved that and has improved with every start,” he said. “She raced a bit fiercely last time and was beaten by a handy horse (Open ‘N’ Shut) at Te Rapa so we took the blinkers off and it was a gutsy, gallant effort.” Huffer overcame a slow start to race in second spot before rider Michael Coleman urged her to the front halfway down the straight and they finished off strongly to score by a short neck.

Huffer is out of the O’Reilly mare Glitzy, whose nine career wins featured the Listed Rotorua Stakes. All three of her foals to race have won and include the Group performer Glintz (Pins). WS will offer a full-sister (Lot 161) to Huffer during the Premier session at Karaka in 2013.

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